During a five day visit to the region Oliver met with European and UN diplomats, Israeli and Palestinian leaders and officials both in Ramallah and Gaza. His visit provided a timely opportunity to access the current situation and to evaluate Forward Thinking’s priorities in the coming months.
He found that the situation in Gaza has worsened and, it is clear that there is an urgent need to address the deepening humanitarian crisis. In response, he discussed with UN and Palestinian officials, both in Gaza and Ramallah, the need to convene a conference to address both the immediate and long term challenges at the economic, political and human level. It was agreed that Forward Thinking would explore the possibilities of holding such a conference before the end of the year.
He also met with a senior director at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center to finalise the arrangements for a join conference in November to mark to 4th Anniversary of the Egyptian –Israeli Peace Treaty. An hour long meeting with the Yuval Steinitz, the Israel Minister for Energy and Infrastructure, provided an opportunity to explore the need to address some of the economic issues that need addressing to establish a sustainable stability in the region.